FA to issue defibrillators to clubs in deal with British Heart Foundation
Last Updated: 19/03/13 10:36am
The Football Association has confirmed it will issue over 900 defibrillators to Premier League and Football League clubs after securing a charitable partnership with the British Heart Foundation.
The agreement has been announced a year after former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
The BHF has agreed to match a donation of £400,000 from the FA - with clubs contributing the final £400,000 - and players, staff and fans at eligible clubs will be given training on how to use the equipment and other life-saving techniques.
England U21 boss Stuart Pearce said: "There is no doubt how valuable these pieces of equipment can be, and if they save just one life then the investment is worth it.
"The investment of £800,000 from the FA and BHF makes it much easier for clubs to get their hands on a piece of kit that ordinarily would be too expensive for them.
"I think we all remember the moment Fabrice collapsed on the pitch at White Hart Lane and how that stunned the football world into thinking about these issues.
"It's important that football clubs take the opportunity to make sure we see more stories of survival in the future."
Mike Healy, the FA's head of medical education, added: "For over 20 years the FA has recognised the importance of timely and appropriate first aid for casualties in football environments.
"It has created a pathway of sports first aid courses which have been specifically designed for coaches, teachers, parents, referees and healthcare professionals who support sports activities at all levels."